A printed hand and tree brand
Print zine imagery by Christopher Goggs

In the first provocation from our Zine, The Cost of Convenience, Anna Berti Suman discusses the use of our bare senses to detect environmental contamination.

Citizen sensing, environmental monitoring from the grassroots with the use of our own senses or sensors, can be regarded as a practice that aims at appropriating technology for the sake of health and environmental protection.

However, when it comes to using sensors to monitor the environment, it is a contradiction to use tools produced by the tech industry which is one of the main causes of those adverse environmental effects that people fight.

Civic actors try to resist to such mainstream technologies by building their own frugal equipment to track environmental degradation otherwise.

“We need to ‘take back the sense’ and focus on using our bare senses”

I will discuss how the auto-production of technologies is a needed counterforce, although still not enough.

I will defend that we need to ‘take back the sense’ and focus on using our bare senses (e.g. sight, smell…) to detect environmental contamination as only this way we will truly reconnect with nature, without contributing to further waste production.

Anna Berti Suman, Tillburg University

Read the full zine